Duncan Bell joined the company straight from school aged 18 and worked his way up to the position of group financial director. He had established himself during the 80s and 90s as a respected production sound engineer working on many high-profile theatre productions in the UK and abroad.
Bell went from coiling microphone cables to running the financial fortunes of a group of companies that have a combined annual turnover of over £10m.
“A month’s work experience in 1984 has led to a 35-year journey as part of an incredible company and family,” remarked Bell, “but I have decided that the time is right to find a new challenge for the next chapter of my life. Whatever that turns out to be, it will be defined in no small way by the experience gained as part of Autograph.”
“Looking back on it, having industry pioneers such as Andrew Bruce, Julian Beech, Jonathan Deans, Bobby Aitken, Tony Robinson and Terry Jardine as your collective mentors, teachers and friends must surely be the holy grail… and that was just within the company. It will be strange to move on, but I know that Autograph is in good hands and will continue to flourish for years to come.”
The departure of Autograph’s previous financial and business director Julian Beech, in 1999 due to ill-health, led to Bell’s promotion to group financial director in 2000. Partnered by MD Terry Jardine, they oversaw the running and development of the Autograph Group until last year, when Jardine became chairman enabling Scott Arnold’s appointment as MD.
Bell worked especially closely with radio microphone manufacturers, primarily Sennheiser and Shure, bringing Autograph’s theatre experience to bear on the development of their modern radio systems. He also represented the theatre and the wider audio fraternity on the BEIRG committee, a group formed to negotiate and liaise with Ofcom due to the enforced spectrum changes over the last 10 years.
Autograph’s owner Andrew Bruce commented: “I have known and worked with Duncan for almost 35 years and during that time trusted him with increasing levels of responsibility in every aspect of our business. He has repaid that trust many times over and whilst I’m really sorry to see him move on, I know that his future and ours will never be very far apart.”
Bell will leave the Autograph companies in the spring of 2020.